Monday, 1 February 2016



"...the proof of our success was that the airplanes we built operated under tight secrecy for eight to ten years before the government even acknowledged their existence." 
-BEN RICH (Rich & Janos 7)

From the facts given in the timeline the following inferences can be made. The Canberra B-57 was undergoing modifications in 1951 and Convair did the work. The USAF SAC was flying it in August of 1951. This meets the ten year time frame that Ben Rich gives for planes designed by Skunk Works. Because General Dynamics would be awarded the contract to modify the Canberra in 1962. The information from the 25 August 1951, Lubbock, Texas UFO sighting indicates a lower bound estimated top speed of at least Mach 2.3+ and a ceiling of at least 55,000 feet. On the upper bound the plane had a speed of Mach 23, which is very close to the speed of Mach 26. This is the speed needed to reach orbit. So, a upper bound altitude for the modified Canberra with the capability to fly Mach 23 is at least 200,000 feet.
If Mach 23 speeds were witnessed. Then an ASPEN variant of the plane was being tested. Which means that a still undisclosed version of the plane exists. Since the ASPEN is a Sanger Spaceplane and all Sanger Space Planes have rocket engines. Then this variant of the B-57 had a nuclear thermal rocket for a third engine. Which was probably in the tail. A Mach 23 space plane in August of 1951 is incredible. Even the more conservative estimate of a plane capable of sustained Mach 2.3 is incredible for 1951. In the early days of the program 1946 to 1947 NEPA had predicted terminal velocities greater than Mach 13+ were possible. So, extremely high speeds were possible and were being pursued in the ANP R&D program. 
The witnesses of the August 25th sighting were "credible" because of their science backgrounds. They were college professors. Lubbock is not too far from where the Convair Division of General Dynamics worked on designing airframes for the ANP in Fort Worth. The description of the sighting has at least two interpretations that I find to be valid. I have written on this previously and concluded that the string of beads description looks a lot like airframe disintegration that occurs upon re-entry. Then recently I came across a picture of an RB-57F Canberra flying at high altitude. The large extended wings look like a chevron or crescent. This alternative interpretation has the added benefit of matching an identifiable airframe.
The early versions of the U-2 and RB-57 had unpainted airframes. It was done as the story goes to save weight. There is another possible explanation for the lack of paint. Since these vehicles were designed to fly at high altitude, they will reflect the sunlight due to the difference in the relative horizons i.e. the sun has set for the observer on the ground but it has not set for the person flying at high altitude. Reflecting the sun's light the plane would appear as a bright light in the sky. A similar phenomena took place when the Shuttle re-entered the atmosphere. A person could watch the shuttle re-enter the atmosphere from the ground and it looked like a bright light in the sky when it did. So, the lack of paint was intentional. It increased the amount of light reflected back to the ground. It would befuddle naive observers on the ground. So, it would affect the psyche of those who saw it.
It would also be causing a lot of confusion for Soviet radar technicians. Because the plane could been seen visually by observers yet it did not appear on the radar. The Project GRUDGE 25 August 1951 report shows that the objects were not seen on radar. This is significant. Because this same summer WADC's Lt.Col Leghorn was working with engineers from English Electric Company, the manufacturer of the Canberra, at Wright Patterson AFB in Ohio. He is the one that figured out that you could fly over the Soviet Radar coverage for a surprise attack. A year earlier in March of 1950 the British were already flying modified Canberras to record altitudes. Leghorn was calling for a plane that could fly at high altitudes and take high resolution photos in papers he wrote back in 1946 and 1948. So, these were sightings of experiments to see if his theory was true. 
The timing of Truman's creation of the Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) indicates that the what we call an overflight program was in reality a psychological warfare campaign. If what people were witnessing in the skies during the 1951 to 1952 period was a modified Canberra. Then it can be said that the Canberra was a vehicle of psychological warfare. Which was tested on the American People in 1952. This testing became known as the UFO flap of 1952. The plane would be used against the people of the Soviet Union in a campaign of psychological terrorism. Attempts by Soviet pilots to intercept these planes resulted in the deaths of many Russian aviators.
The "overflight" programs of the 1950's were meant to cause terror in the hearts of the Soviets by demonstrating that they had no control over their airspace. It clearly was meant to show that they could be wiped out in a surprise attack at any time. It would take the Russians ten years to come within parity of America's clearly superior capability. The ICBM/Sputnik and the Vostok Spacecraft were coming close to American capabilities in a nominal sense. But given their predictable ballistic paths and limited payloads they were more susceptible to interception. They were still a long way off from parity. Yuri Gagarin's flight would cause the Joint Chiefs of Staff to call for a preemptive strike on the USSR. This was something Kennedy refused to do.
This and other tensions would lead to Kennedy's assassination in one of the hubs of ANP research or the military space program, the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolis. It has not been noted by anyone that I know of except me that the Kennedy's John and Robert were both assassinated in the towns that held hubs for ANP research. Which was the front for the military's space program. Dallas-Fort Worth was the town that Convair used. Los Angeles was the town that Lockheed used. According to a NRO memo these two companies shared a special relationship. This relationship must have played a role in the assassinations. 

The NEPA (Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft) Project, formed in May 1946 and continuing to the Spring of 1951, investigated nuclear rackets and ramjets as well as other aircraft. In 1946 Northrop Aircraft, on a subcontract from NEPA, performed a simple analysis of a nuclear rocket system in which hydrogen was used as the working fluid, being heated under high pressure in a fissioning reactor.(3) Effects of drag and burning time on rocket performance were neglected. It was concluded that nuclear heated hydrogen systems could produce very high ( > 15,000ft/sec) vehicle terminal velocities. [Holloway's note 15,000 feet per second equals greater than Mach 13]. 

Some reactor control problems common to airplanes, ramjets, and rockets (all nuclear powered)-were briefly considered (4) by NEPA in 1946. Also in 1946, a reactor pilot plant was proposed (5) to be used “as a research tool for establishing fundamental engineering data for design” of nuclear propulsion systems presumably suitable for rockets, airplanes, and ramjets. Some simple rocket vehicle analyses and comparisons with chemical oxygen-hydrogen rockets were made during 1947, in which it was concluded and above, the nuclear that “for reactor temperatures of about 2500”C hydrogen rocket may be an attractive device”.(6,7) Uranium-uranium carbide systems were analyzed for use in rocket reactor designs.

While the NEPA Project was gaining momentum, North American Aviation's Aerophysics Laboratory performed a monumental study on nuclear rockets and ramjets (9) growing out of an earlier preliminary look at the possibilities of the field.(10) The study covered the design of an ICRM capable of carrying 8000lbs. about 10,000 miles. A wide class of propellants was considered: Lithium, Boron, Ammonia, Methane, Deuterium...  aka (Li, B, NH3, CH4,H2, etc.) andhydrogen was chosen as the best for nuclear rocket use despite its low liquid density.Mixtures of liquid hydrogen and methane were thought to present some advantages over hydrogen alone. The nuclear reactor used was in every case a graphite assembly impregnated with uranium and operated at shut 5700”F (3160”C).
MARCH 1947
Again, AEC advisors J. Robert Oppenheimer and Harvard chemist James B. Conant, members of the AEC's General Advisory Committee, expressed grave doubts. NEPA expectations of an aircraft in five years were naive, they felt, because far too much remained unknown. The AEC was just launching a reactor research program with the ultimate purpose of developing applications for a broad range of civilian and military uses. But before private industry--or the military--could proceed, a great deal of expensive scientific inquiry was necessary first. The scientists felt that the Air Force approach, focused as it was on the rapid development of a test flight, was unsound. The project should be integrated into the general reactor development program of the AEC, not isolated separately at Oak Ridge (Stacy 13).
February 1951
The Air Force awarded Convair a contract for work relating to the modification of a Convair B-36 type of airplane, and the Air Force and. AEC each awarded contracts to GE in March and June 1951, respectively, for work on a propulsion system, By November 1951, GE estimated that it could deliver the first power plant to Convair in about May 1956 at a cost of about $188 million.
13 March 1951
the Department of Defense finally decided that a "military requirement" existed for nuclear aircraft. In the priority list, the plane registered just below the need for reactors that would produce fissionable material. The AEC and the Air Force could now switch their emphasis from research to development. The AEC began executing contracts. It officially ended the NEPA project in April, all parties happy to drop its name and the negative image it held with the scientists. The new start took on a new name--Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion, or ANP.
APRIL 1951
President Truman creates the Psychological Strategy Board (PSB) under the NSC.
Lt.Col. Leghorn becomes the head of Reconnaissance Systems Branch of the Wright Air Development Command at Dayton, Ohio.
The feasibility studies ended at Oak Ridge with the termination of the Air Force contract with Fairchild.
June 1951
AEC awarded CPFF letter contract AT(11-1)-171 to GE, and the contract was converted into a definitive contract in July 1954
20 June 1951
Harry S. Truman signed a directive establishing the Psychological Strategy Board. The directive read, "Directive to: the Secretary of State, The Secretary of Defense, The Director of Central Intelligence: It is the purpose of this directive to authorize and provide for the more effective planning, coordination and conduct, within the framework of approved national policies, of psychological operations. There is hereby established a Psychological Strategy Board responsible, within the purposes and terms of this directive, for the formulation and promulgation, as guidance to the departments and agencies responsible for psychological operations, of over-all national psychological objectives, policies and programs, and for the coordination and evaluation of the national psychological effort.
WADC invites English Electric representatives to Dayton Ohio to help find ways to make the Canberra fly even higher (P&W 5).
25 AUGUST 1951
"String of beads" UFO sighting over Lubbock Texas. There are a range of speeds attributable to the objects depending on assumptions made for altitude and the time for crossing from horizon to horizon. These assumptions will lead to several distinct interpretations. I suspect that it was a converted Canberra flying above 50,000 feet at a speed of Mach 2.3. The craft that was seen was described in more than one Project GRUDGE report as chevron or crescent shaped. The long length of the wings on the modified Canberras and the relatively short fuselage gives the plane a crescent shape when viewed from the ground. Because the plane was moving so fast it would be hard for most observers to even pick out the fuselage.   

The Canberra here is shaped like a chevron or crescent. 

The memo mentioning the special Convair Lockheed relationship. 

October 1951
NSC 10/5 is issued. It reaffirms the CIA's covert action mandate given in NSC 10/2 and expands the CIA's authority over guerrilla warfare.

November 1951
GE said it could deliver a direct cycle aircraft ready to fly for $188 million by May 1956. The Air Force moved to make flight tests a goal of the ANP program, proposing formally in April 1952 that AEC schedule flight testing in 1956 or 1957." Although AEC commissioners were skeptical (remembering that the Lexington group had predicted it would take 15 years and cost $1 billion), they accepted the proposal and directed that the program's objectives now include a flight demonstration. The demonstration would not use a new airframe, but rather would modify and adapt an existing bomber.


September 1952
ARDC awards contract Martin Aircraft Company to modify the B-57 with high lift wings and powering it with the new American version of the Rolls Royce Avon-109 engine.  Meanwhile WADC has two German aeronautical engineers, Woldemar Voigt and Richard Vogt researching ways to achieve sustained high altitude flight. USAF Major Seaberg an aeronautical engineer for  Chance Vought Corporation until being recalled to serve in the Korean War, was serving as assistant chief of the New Development Office of WADC's Bombardment Branch.
APRIL 1953
Major cutback in ANP program
During April and May 1953, a major cutback in the ANP program occurred. Major events leading up to the cutback included (1) the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board* in March 1953 that the ANP program be cut back by 50 percent on grounds that activities were unwarranted by state of the art and the rate of progress, (2) the request of the Executive Office of the President that the Secretary of Defense, cooperating with AEC, submit to the National Security Council not Later than April 20, 1953, a definitive program for realizing additional reductions in DOD expenditures for fiscal years 1954 and 1955 in connection with selected areas of atomic energy operations, one of which was a stretch-out or postponement of the atomic energy propulsion program for airplanes, and (3) the decision of the National Security Council in April 1953 to eliminate, as not required from the viewpoint of national security, the existing program for aircraft nuclear propulsion (ANP-GAO 127).
May 1953
The Director of Research and Development, Deputy Chief of Staff, Development, USAF, advised the Air Research and Development Command that (1) after a recent DOD review of the ANP program, all fund requests for ANP in the fiscal year 1954 budget had been eliminated, (2) it would be necessary to reorient the ANP program immediately so that it could be continued through fiscal year 1954 with unexpended funds appropriated in previous years, and (3) the Air Force expenditures in fiscal year 1954 should be planned at approximately $9.6 million. GE was advised that, in planning the revised program, about $6 million of AEC funds and about $3 million of Air Force funds should be assumed to be available
each year for fiscal years 1954 through 1956 (GAO-ANP 128).
July 1953
Bell Aircraft Corporation of Buffalo New York and Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation of Hagerstown Maryland are awarded study contracts to develop entirely new high altitude reconnaissance aircraft. Glenn L Martin Company of Baltimore was asked to examine the possibility of improving the performance of the B-57 Canberra.
12 MAY 1954
Proposals for special reconnaissance aircraft have been received in the Air Staff from Lockheed, Fairchild and Bell. The Lockheed proposal is considered to be the best. It has been given the designation of CL-282 and in many respects is a jet powered glider based essentially on the Lockheed Day Fighter XF-104. It is primarily subsonic but can attain transonic speeds over the target with a consequent loss of range. With an altitude of 73,000 feet over the target it has a combat radius of 1,400 nautical miles. The CL-282 can be manufactured mainly with XF-104 jigs and designs. The prototype of this plane can be produced within a year from the date of order. Five planes could be delivered for operations within two years.
02 March 1955
Formal contract SP-1913 is signed with Lockheed.  All of the air frames were to be built in the period between July 1955 to November 1956.
March 1955
The Air Force issued General Operational Requirement (GOR) No. 81 to provide a nuclear-powered, piloted bombardment weapon system (WS-125-A) capable of delivering nuclear munitions against any target in the world. The primary mission for this weapon system would be taking off from bases deep within the continental United States, proceeding by circuitous routes to a target located anywhere in the world, bombing the target, and returning to the base of departure, again using circuitous routes, if desirable. The GOR stated, with reference to speed, that (1) cruise speed should not be less than Mach 0.9 unless significant increases in performance in the combat zone were to be attained and (2) maximum possible supersonic dash speed in the combat zone was desired. The GOR, with reference to availability stated that this weapon system would be required in operational units during 1963.
April 1955
The Air Force awarded fixed-price redeterminable contracts for studies and investigations for a nuclear-powered strategic bombardment weapon system---AF 33(600)-30292 to Convair, AF 33-(600)-30293 to Lockheed, and 0 33-(600)-30291 to Boeing Airplane Company.

JUNE 1962



Kelly: More Than My Share of It All 
Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson (Author), Maggie Smith (Contributor)

File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
program to demonstrate that a nuclear rocket propulsion system could out- perform a c:hemicalsystem in ... Bussard, and previously nlemorandum. The gen- ...
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
with agencies' comments, in subsequent sections of this report. CHANGES TN EMPHASIS AND DIRECTION. OF T1IE ANP PROGRAr4. The ANP program was ...